This HMRC letter could make you £10,000s, don't throw it away

People of pension age in the UK are being warned against throwing this letter which could see them receive more money.

HMRC letter could be worth £10,000s to pensioners
© Sarah Agnew / UNSPLASH
HMRC letter could be worth £10,000s to pensioners

We’ve all done it before - left a letter lying around for so long that we forgot what it was about and accidentally got rid of it when tidying up. This one letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) would be a particularly bad one to have misplaced, as it could make you £10,000s.

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Martin Lewis’ website has warned people receiving the state pension to double-check any official letter before they throw it away. HMRC has been writing to 100,000s of people to let them know that they may not currently be receiving their full state pension entitlement. Here’s who it affects and what to do about it.

Who this affects

The mistake has arisen from an error in national insurance records. The letters are mostly being sent out to women as this warning affects those who took time off work to look after their family between 1978 and 2010. They may be missing what is known as ‘Home Responsibility Protection’. During this time, you could claim National Insurance Credits as HRPs, which reduced the number of qualifying years you need to claim the state pension.

HMRC is contacting those impacted in waves - the first group being alerted are those over state pension age (66). There are concerns that scammers are trying to mimic the letters.

They will be entitled ‘You may be eligible for Home Responsibilities Protection’ and you can check for a list of recent letters sent. If you are still worried, you can always call HMRC directly on 0300 200 3500.

If you have the letter, check you are eligible

If you have already received the letter, you’ll be asked to check whether you were indeed eligible for HRPs between 1978 and 2010. You can do this on the website.

If their system says you are eligible, you’ll then need to submit your claim online and HMRC will correct your national insurance record - which may increase your state pension payments. You can also claim via post, but you’ll need to fill and print out this form to send off.

If you are not yet of pension age, it is best to wait for HMRC to contact you in the next few years. They are sorting the mistake with people who are already receiving a pension as the error in their records could be impacting the payments they are currently receiving. By claiming now, you risk slowing down the process for everyone. However, do remember to let HMRC know if you’ve changed your address.

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Sources used: Getting the state pension? Don't bin an HMRC letter that may be worth £10,000s – it's NOT a scam

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